Hearty Lentil Stew

For Christmas, Jeff’s grandmother bought me a book (I asked for), Eating Animals by Jonathon Safran Foer.

I read said book.

I no longer eat animals.

No worries. I’m not here to proselytize. All I can say is that it I find it impossible to read Eating Animals and continue to guiltlessly eat meat and also claim to be socially aware and not sociopathic.

My only request is that if you’re reading this, consider that eating is something you have to do and will do three times a day every day for the rest of your life. There aren’t a lot of things in this world you have control over, but what you put in your mouth is one thing that you do. You owe it to yourself to learn and understand what you are feeding yourself and your family.

With that said, neither Jeff nor I nor Marlo have eaten meat for 18 days. There’s been a lot of skepticism and curiosity from family and friends, many asking if it has been challenging. Surprisingly, it hasn’t. I’m less anxious about preparing food now, and both Jeff and I find the new lifestyle redeeming and exciting.

Obviously, now all new recipes posted on this blog will be vegetarian, but I intend to continue to offer recipe ideas that stick with my initial philosophy which is meals that are accessible both ingredient wise and skill wise, interesting and delicious of course! This Lentil Stew is a perfect representation of this philosophy. It takes just 30 minutes to put together and couldn’t have been easier.

Hearty Lentil Stew
Adapted from Good Housekeeping Magazine

1 cup lentils picked through and rinsed
1 can (14 oz.) vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 Tbsp. whole Cumin Seeds (not ground Cumin)
2 shallots or 1 small red onion thinly sliced
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 smaller golden potatoes diced into 1/4 inch cubes
5 oz. baby spinach
salt and pepper

In a 2 quart pot, combine lentils, vegetable broth and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 15-20 minutes, until lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat oil over medium-hight heat and add cumin seeds. Saute until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add coconut and shallots (onions) and season with salt. Saute until coconut is golden and onions are softened. Add potatoes and saute for 2 minutes, then add the lentils to the pan including the broth. Cover pan and lower heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes. Fold in spinach and season with salt (about 1/4-1/2 tsp.) and pepper to taste. Cook just until spinach wilts. Serve warm.

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